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Silhouette Dog Portrait Using Illustrator 


Silhouette Dog Portrait Using 

Written By: Meg Allan Cole 


Camera (1) 

Laser cutting facilities, soldering iron, and screwdrivers (1) 

Sand paper (1) 

Scissors (1) 

Spray adhesive (1) 

computer with Adobe Illustrator (1) 

flocked paper (1) 

wood piece (1) 


This project was my first time using both Adobe Illustrator and the Silhouette machine, so 
this is an easy and basic way to begin using these tools to create your own silhouette piece. 

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Silhouette Dog Portrait Using Illustrator 

Step 1 — Silhouette Dog Portrait Using Illustrator 

• To get started, back light your 
subject by placing it in between you 
and your light source. Take a 
photograph that shows a clear 
silhouette of your subject. To 
accentuate the silhouette further, 
adjust the brightness and contrast 
in Photoshop. 

Step 2 

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• There are many ways to get the 
silhouette of your subject, but in 
this project we are using Adobe 
Illustrator. Drag your photo into 
Adobe Illustrator and lock your 
layer. Pick your favorite writing 
implement and trace your 
silhouette in a new layer. 

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Page 2 of 6 

Silhouette Dog Portrait Using Illustrator 

Step 3 

Use the pencil tool in a bold color to trace the perimeter of your subject, clicking 
intermittently to create anchor points. If you make a mistake hit Edit > Undo and it will take 
you back one step. To clean up, hit the direct select tool to zoom in to see the anchor 

Step 4 

• Choose one anchor point at a time to move them around to where you want. Anchors also 
have handles helping you change the curvature of the line. 

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Page 3 of 6 

Silhouette Dog Portrait Using Illustrator 

Step 5 

t To preview your silhouette, zoom out and toggle the visibility on the photo layer. You can 
then go back and fix whatever lines you need. 

Step 6 

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• Make sure your silhouette is a 
closed shape so that your knife can 
cut all the way around. 

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Silhouette Dog Portrait Using Illustrator 
Step 7 



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• Click on the eye of your photo layer 
again and you have your silhouette 
to print out. To print, cut and load 
your flocked paper onto the carrier 
sheet and into the cutter. Try 
different settings on your cutter 
depending on the thickness of your 
paper to make sure it will cut all the 
way through. 

Step 8 

» Peel the silhouette out of the 
flocked paper and clean up any 
lines with small scissors. 

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Silhouette Dog Portrait Using Illustrator 

Step 9 

To add your silhouette to a wood piece, first sand down the surface so it will properly 
adhere. In a well-ventilated space, wearing protective eye wear, spray adhesive onto the 
back of your wood, place your silhouette down, and press. 

Step 10 

• You can simply trace and cut the 
silhouette, bypassing the cutting 
machine altogether. You can put 
your silhouette on anything from a 
simple wood piece to a small rock. 

Additional photography by Becky Stern. 

J12-11-03 01:56:13 AM. 

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